Mehnaz Kappan, the nine-year-old daughter of jailed Muslim journalist, Siddique Kappan, made a powerful speech during her school’s commemoration of Independence Day that has since gone viral on social media.
The young girl introduced herself as the daughter of a journalist who was illegally detained by the authorities and was being denied all of his civil liberties and freedom.
“I am Mehnaz Kappan. Daughter of journalist Siddique Kappan, a citizen who has been forced into a dark room by breaking all of the freedom of a citizen,” she started.
Kappan was arrested on 5 October 2020 by the Uttar Pradesh Police along with three other Muslim men, while he was on his way to investigate the gang rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras, and has been since detained at Mathura Jail. Siddique Kappan has been charged with the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
“The lifetime struggles of Gandhiji, Nehru, Bhagat Singh, and many other revolutionary leaders led to the freedom that we enjoy today. Right now, every Indian has the freedom to choose what to eat, which religion to practice, what to say, and other aspects. We are fully entitled to protest against anything that jeopardizes our freedom and rights,” she said.
However, injustice and conflict still exist today, which, according to Mehnaz Kappan, fuels conflicts and attacks based on politics, religion, and race. “Let’s use love and harmony to uproot all of these injustices. Even the shadow of unrest needs to be wiped out,” the child said during her speech in Nottaparam GLP Government School.
She went on to say: “We still have to take India to the pinnacle of excellence. We must dream of a better tomorrow without division and discord. Remembering all the brave patriots who fought for the freedom of India, I stop here by saying that the freedom of the common citizens of India should not be taken away. Jai Hind, Jai Bharat.”